Monday 21 October 2013

Murray Godfrey facing bankruptcy action

Murray Godfrey.
Photo Veritas Advisory

MURRAY Godfrey, founder of RMG offshoot Veritas Advisory, is potentially facing bankruptcy after a court last week dismissed his application to have a bankruptcy notice set aside.

In her judgement of October 18, newly-minted Federal Court Justice Melissa Perry outlines why Godfrey’s application - which argued that the notice should be set aside because it had been served twice and was capable of misleading him - must fail.

“I consider that a debtor in the applicant’s circumstances … would have understood that the act of second service would not absolve him of the responsibility to comply with the notice within the period of 21 days from the date of first service on 5 July 2013”, Justice Perry said.

Godfrey is being chased by Weriton Finance over a $160,000 debt incurred following consent orders made in the District Court in 2012. He declined to comment when contacted by SiN. It is not known if he intends to appeal.

Weriton Finance is associated with Graham Keith Werry, and DTC No. 1 Pty Limited (in Liquidation).

Werry, a property developer with a significant footprint in the Illawarra region, has had issues of his own recently, details of which are contained in this Enforceable Undertaking he provided to ASIC in March, 2011.

Godfrey consented to the District Court orders in March 2012. They required him to pay $160,000 to DTC No. 1 Pty Ltd by December 20, 2012. 

In January 2013, Godfrey was advised that Weriton Finance had entered into a deed of assignment with DTC No. 1 Pty Ltd (in liquidation) in March 2009. Weriton had become the secured creditor.

From there it's proceeded to the current enforcement action, which kicked off with letters between the two party's solicitors in mid-June.

Justice Perry’s judgement relates how Godfrey advised the creditor’s solicitors on July 2, 2013 that he was “not insolvent” and was “formulating a proposal to purchase certain causes of action from Jamieson Louttit, liquidator of DTC No. 1 which, inter alia, will ground cross claims against your client and Mr Werry personally”.

On July 3, Louttit advised Godfrey’s solicitors by email that no such proposal had been received.

Justice Perry also recounts how lawyer David Farrar – acting for Weriton Finance – attended Godfrey’s office on July 5 in an attempt to personally serve the notice after three attempts by a paralegal in Farrar’s employ were unsuccessful.

Initially Farrar too was unsuccessful and after an exchange of pleasantries with the Veritas receptionist declared: “This conduct is very poor”. 

Farrar served the notice by post and fax on the same day but didn't know it had been effectively served at that point. 

He engaged process servers who effected service of the same notice a second time on July 24 after Godfrey agreed to be served. Two days later he launched his application in the Federal Court to have the notice set aside.

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